July 2015 Scholarship Winners

The Lint Center Summer 2015 Scholarship Competition has concluded, and the winners have been selected!

Josiah Depaoli is the winner of the Jim & Anna Hyonjoo Lint Scholarship ($1500).
Hunter Reynolds is the winner of the Virginia and Frank Misselhorn Memorial Scholarship ($500).

Full press releases will be following shortly.

Lessons Learned from El Chapo: The Transnational Impact of the Latin American Drug Trade

elchapo

On July 11, 2015, when notorious drug lord Joaqín “El Chapo” Guzmán escaped from a maximum security prison in Mexico through a nearly one mile long underground tunnel, the world took notice. Mexican Secretary of the Interior Miguel Angel Osorio Chong immediately returned home from a state visit to France to assist with damage control in the wake of the unfolding narrative that El Chapo’s prison break was an “inside job” made possible by government corruption. The rest of Latin America went on high alert, ramping up border security from Guatemala all the way to Columbia (O’Reilly, 2015).

Tellingly, however, concern over El Chapo’s escape was not limited to Latin America. As weeks passed and the fruitless manhunt for El Chapo dragged on, the United States demonstrated it, too, had a stake in seeing Guzmán put safely behind bars. The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) created an El Chapo toll-free tip line and the U.S. State Department offered five million dollars for his arrest.

wantedpostedThe United States’ interest in El Chapo should come as no surprise considering that, according to the DEA, Guzmán has been charged with drug trafficking and other crimes in multiple courts across the country dating as far back as 1995. “Joaqín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán-Loera has destroyed lives and communities throughout the United States and Mexico,” DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg said in a press release, “His escape poses a danger to the safety and security of both our countries.”

The escape of El Chapo and Mr. Rosenberg’s remarks provide insight into a larger phenomenon: the transnational impact of the Latin America drug trade, and the implications of the drug trade for United States national security.

The Path to the United States: Cocaine and Heroin in Transit

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reported in its 2015 National Drug Report that South America is the main point of departure for cocaine to the rest of the world. According to the UNODC report, Bolivia, Columbia and Peru serve as the major cocaine producers and departure countries for the export of cocaine to the rest of Latin America. From there, other nations including Brazil and Argentina constitute trafficking points to the United States’ cocaine market. Drug traffickers utilize a variety of means to successfully transport cocaine to the United States, including maritime trafficking and trafficking by air.

Though cocaine has traditionally attracted the attention of the media in discussion of the Latin American drug trade, in recent years the trafficking of heroin has become nearly as significant for the United States’ illegal drug market. The UNODC report explains that seizures of heroin in the United States have increased since 2008, up to 6.2 tons in 2013, and authorities have witnessed an increase in the trafficking of heroin produced by both Mexico and South America. The prevalence of Latin American heroin trafficking seems especially significant in light of an increase in heroin-related deaths in the United States, up nearly 3,000 from 2012 to 2013.

A Steep Economic and Political Toll

In addition to mounting an obvious and alarming cost to public health, the prevalence of the Latin American drug trade has broader implications for the societal wellbeing and international relations of the United States.

First and foremost, the flow of illicit drugs to the United States cripples productivity and threatens the stability of the United States economy. The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy estimates that the United States lost $193 billion to drug abuse in 2007, the last available estimate. Embedded in this number are the massive implications of drug use for workforce productivity, healthcare costs, and criminal justice costs.

The United States has made a considerable monetary investment in combatting both domestic drug use and the transnational drug trade, with the Obama administration committing $10 billion to support drug demand reduction programs and $2.4 billion toward international drug control programs in fiscal year 12 alone. It is unclear at best whether the United States has received a significant return on this investment, as according to the UNODC the rate of cocaine use in the United States has remained relatively stagnant at 1.6% for the past few years and the number of drug-related deaths in the country is continually on the rise.

The domestic economic toll of the drug trade is compounded by transnational negative effects which ultimately harm the United States’ interests in the region. The White House Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime argues that organized crime, including narcotic trafficking networks, threatens the United States’ interests through “taking advantage of failed states or contested spaces; forging alliances with corrupt foreign government officials and some foreign intelligence services; destabilizing political, financial, and security institutions in fragile states; [and] undermining competition in world strategic markets.”

The destabilizing effect of drug cartels and other forms of organized crime fosters corruption, making it more difficult for the United States to collaborate with its Latin American partners politically and economically. Further, the continued presence of massive narcotics trafficking networks serves only to threaten the legitimacy of Latin American governments, undermining the credibility of political institutions and potentially opening the floor to radical actors. In the case of El Chapo, Mexican President Peña Nieto faced public ridicule for the security breach and his public approval rating fell to a new low in the aftermath of the El Chapo scandal (Silva 2015).

United States’ Policy Moving Forward

Regardless of whether or not Joaqín “El Chapo” Guzmán is found, the Latin American drug trade should remain a focus of the United States’ national security policy moving forward. Some positive steps have already been taken in this direction. For example, the 2015 National Military Strategy, released by the Joint Chiefs of Staff in June, recognized the importance of a continued military role in “supporting interagency efforts with Latin American and Caribbean states to promote regional stability and counter transnational criminal organizations.”

Despite this established military commitment, with a new administration entering the White House in 2016 and a whole host of other international problems such as the rise of ISIS and the conflict in Ukraine competing for the attention of United States executives and legislators, it may seem tempting to place the problem of the Latin American drug trade on the backburner. Yet it remains in the long term interest of the United States to continue to protect domestic public health and economic growth, and to support the stability of political institutions abroad through a robust effort to end the transnational flow of narcotics.

References

“Headquarters News Releases, 08/05/15.” Drug Enforcement Administration, 5 Aug. 2015. Web. 19 Aug. 2015. <http://www.dea.gov/divisions/hq/2015/hq080515.shtml>.

“How Illicit Drug Use Affects Business and the Economy.” The White House. Web. 20 Aug. 2015. <https://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/ondcp-fact-sheets/how-illicit-drug-use-affects-business-and-the-economy>.

O’Reilly, Andrew. “Latin American Nations Ramp up Security amid Fears That Chapo May Flee to Mexico.” Fox News Latino 20 July 2015. Web. 19 Aug. 2015. <http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2015/07/20/latin-american-nations-ramp-up-security-amid-fears-that-chapo-may-flee-mexico/>.

“Reducing Drug Demand in the U.S.” The White House. Web. 20 Aug. 2015. <https://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/ondcp-fact-sheets/reducing-drug-demand-in-the-us>.

“Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime.” The White House, July 2011. Web. 20 Aug. 2015. <https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/Strategy_to_Combat_Transnational_Organized_Crime_July_2011.pdf>.

“The National Military Strategy of the United States of America 2015.” Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1 June 2015. Web. 20 Aug. 2015. <http://www.jcs.mil/Portals/36/Documents/Publications/2015_National_Military_Strategy.pdf>.

“World Drug Report.” United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, May 2015. Web. 19 Aug. 2015. <http://www.unodc.org/documents/wdr2015/World_Drug_Report_2015.pdf>.

Photo Credit

1) Courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine agents along with U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard personnel intercepted a semi-submersible craft carrying more than 16,870 pounds of cocaine in the eastern Pacific Ocean on July 18, 2015. Source: http://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/local-media-release/2015-07-22-000000/cbp-oam-interagency-partners-interdict-semi

2) Courtesy of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration: Official wanted poster for Joaqín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera. Source: http://www.dea.gov/resources/img/Ads/guzman-e.html

About the Author

rutlandNoelle Rutland is a member of the blogging team for the Lint Center for National Security. She is currently enrolled as an undergraduate student in the Williams School of Commerce, Economics and Politics at Washington and Lee University pursuing a double major in Global Politics and Spanish. In addition to her majors, Noelle is studying Mandarin Chinese and lived in Zhuhai, China for six weeks as a recipient of the State Department’s National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) scholarship program. Noelle previously served as the Press, Media and Government Relations Intern for the Institute for the Study of War and looks forward to continuing to engage in national security issues as a Lint Center volunteer.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the Lint Center Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and may not reflect the opinions of the Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc. or any employee thereof. The Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc. is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the Lint Center Bloggers.

Happy Independence Day!

 american-flag-1419179176jzg

The strides of freedom and courage shall always be remembered on Independence Day. May we be forever grateful to the men and women who have so bravely volunteered to preserve the principles on which our Nation was founded. The Lint Center is honored to have many members that are a part of this proud legacy.

Members like Jack McCoy, who served honorably in the U.S. Navy aboard an Ocean Fleet Tug during the Korean War. His four years of service allowed him to see the vast majority of the Pacific region which inspired his quest for knowledge. His education and life experiences led to his mission of being an instrument of peace. Mr. McCoy states “so all can live in peace and harmony – a world of people, by the people, and for the people with liberty and justice for all.”

May we be forever grateful for the freedom and liberty that we enjoy in this great nation. The Lint Center wishes you a happy Independence Day!

Respectfully,

Ryan Sofranko
Operations Manager
Lint Center for National Security Studies

 

Homeland Security Today: DHS Gets a Budget

The following was originally posted on TimothyWColeman.com:

The most recent issue of Homeland Security Today is out and I would encourage you to give it a read.

Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, the former chairman and vice chairman of the 9/11 commission and co-chairs of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s National Security Program provide their unique perspective in the magazines Opinion & Politics section highlighting the fact that “the cyber domain is the battlefield of the future.”

In addition, there are hugely important features including the cover article by Anthony Kimery, editor-in-chief, highlighting How not to go about funding DHS.

As always, the magazine is full of other enticing and worthwhile reads that run the gamut of interest to those in the homeland security space. Focused feature topics that stand out for reading include: Responding to the Ebola EpidemicUS Labs Biosecurity GapsTerror financingData Center Consolidation and much, much more.

To read the magazine in full, please view the digital version HERE.

Lint Center Announces Partnership with Spies of Washington Tour

TS_PicLint Center Announces Partnership with Spies of Washington Tour 

Former Air Force Intelligence Officer donates spy tours to emerging leaders in the National Security Field

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 25, 2015 – The Lint Center for National Security Studies, a non-profit organization focused on supporting the next generation of America’s National Security professionals through scholarship and mentoring opportunities, today announced its newest corporate sponsor, Carol S. Bessette, Founder of Spies of Washington Tour, a D.C. based tour organization focused on providing the most comprehensive tours of real-world spying and espionage intrigue.

Recipients of Lint Center scholarships will now have the opportunity to attend walking-tours at a leisurely pace to learn about espionage and intelligence in the nation’s capital with Ms. Bessette as a personal tour guide through Spies of Washington Tour. Ms. Bessette will donate free tours that highlight the over 200-year history of Intelligence and Counterintelligence in the Washington, D.C. area.

 

Read more

Former CIA Analyst Joins Lint Center Mentoring Team

cialogoThe Lint Center for National Security Studies is delighted to welcome a tremendous edition to the Center’s already 200-plus strong mentoring team, Ms. Lisa Ruth.

Ruth spent 15 years at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), where she worked as both an Intelligence Analyst and as a Special Projects Officer.

While at CIA, Ruth was a subject matter expert on Latin America. Her specific area of expertise included counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency, tracing and identifying money laundering and illicit arms transfers.

During her career, Ruth conducted overseas tours for the CIA where she provided on-the-ground assistance for counter-insurgency and counter-narcotics operations as well as other high profile intelligence targets. Additionally, Ruth served at the White House Operations Centers, where she provided 24-hour, around the clock, intelligence support to the nations most senior policymakers.

Ruth is a renowned international risk consultant. Currently, she is President of CTC International Group, which is staffed primarily by former CIA officers and provides discreet, timely and accurate information to business executives. CTC is widely regarded as a leading private intelligence organization designed and poised to meet the evolving needs of corporate America.

She is also the Editor in Chief of Communities Digital News, a major online news publication that features independent journalists from around the world. She writes extensively on intelligence, world affairs, and breaking news. She also provides investigative reporting and news analysis.

Additionally, Ruth frequently appears on Newsmax TV, providing analysis, insight and expert commentary on international developments and she is contributor to Newsmax, The Washington Times and other notable publications.

Ruth has a Bachelor of Arts, International Relations, from George Mason University, an Masters in International Relations from the University of Virginia. She is a licensed private investigator in Florida, New Jersey, and Maryland; a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers; and a member of MENSA.

On behalf of the Lint Center for National Security Studies team, we wish to thank Lisa for volunteering her time, energy, and effort to mentoring emerging leaders who wish to follow in the footsteps of national service.

You can follow her on Twitter @lmruth.

Lint Center Article in International Policy Digest

ebolaWe are pleased to highlight one of our outstanding volunteers Brittany Walter.

Last month, after her blog post on the implications of Ebola on US national security was posted in this forum, Ms. Walter’s piece was picked up and reprinted in International Policy Digest as a standalone article.

Congrats Brittany on a job well done!

Please check out her article in International Policy Digest HERE.

You may also view her original LC post HERE.

Honoring Our Veterans

WWII_PicIn quiet tributes, at small family gatherings, in meeting halls, and at grand patriotic parades, Americans come together to honor and celebrate the men and women of the armed forces and those who have nobly fought to keep our country free on Veterans Day.

On this annual occasion, we celebrate the enduring bonds and gallant nature of the millions of men and women who have served and continue to serve in the United States Armed Forces.

We honor them all – veterans past and present.

We pause and give thanks to them all.

While all American Veterans are united by their common duty, all Americans remain humbled and grateful to our veterans for their uncommon courage and commitment to national service.

The Lint Center wishes to thank each and every veteran – those serving and those who have served – we proudly salute you!Tomb_on_unknown

My life was late nights and early mornings, physical exhaustion and boredom, my life was hurry up and wait. My days were broiling heat, my nights freezing cold. I lived in pouring rain, freezing snow and stifling humidity. Dust, sand and mud were my bed, my pillow a rucksack, butt pack or helmet. My feet toughened by thousands of miles of roads, paths, trails and fields trod. My back made strong and wide by days upon weeks upon years of carrying my rucksack just one more click. My youth spent learning my craft, sharpening my will and hardening my body for whatever was asked of me. Taught by men who had been taught by men who had hit the beach, held that hill or leapt from that airplane. My teacher’s lessons collected by experiences written in blood, sweat and tears. My classroom was the forest, the jungle, the desert and the mountain. My certificate a colorful ribbon, a shiny badge and those stripes. My traditions are ageless, my heritage stretches back centuries, I descended from giants and am proud to be counted as one of them. My youth was spent in service to my country, my youth was spent with my brothers and sisters I served with, my youth was not misspent.” – Unknown US Army Ranger

Happy 239th Birthday to the Marine Corps!

486x274_q75

View on dvidshub.net

The Lint Center is pleased to congratulate the US Marine Corps on its 239th birthday!

The Center’s own founder, James R. Lint, joined the Marines on November 13, 1975. He recently noted, that he was “coming up on 39 years since vacationing in San Diego MCRD.”

To learn more about the US Marines, please check out the United States Marines Corps History Division HERE.

Volunteers Recognized at 2014 Points of Light Tribute Awards Ceremony

points-of-light-award-300x110
The Lint Center for National Security Studies inspired by the honorees at the 2014 Points of Light Tribute Awards CeremonyVolunteers from the Lint Center for National Security Studies, a non-profit dedicated to the advancement of the next generation of National Security workers, took part and were recognized at the 2014 Points of Light Tribute Award Ceremony at the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C. on October 22.

Lt. General Brent Scowcroft (USAF ret.), who served as the National Security Advisor to both Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush, the only individual in U.S. history appointed to the position under two different Presidents; NBA Legend, Dikembe Mutombo; Fox News Channel Greta Van Susteren, host of the prime-time news and interview program, “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren,” former New York Governor George Pataki and more than 250 other celebrities, dignitaries, and individuals from the corporate, nonprofit, government, service and entertainment industry attended the event to honor several individuals and organizations whose service and contributions to volunteering have had a positive local and global impact.

In attendance and on behalf of the Lint Center as well as all the hard working volunteers that help translate perspiration into success was the Center’s Chief Operating Officer, Timothy W. Coleman. “It was a tremendous opportunity to represent the Lint Center and to be recognized for all the incredible efforts of our volunteer team. To share in such an occasion and to be among individuals and organizations that have finite resources and use them to create change in varied and profound ways is always impactful. As an entirely volunteer based organization, we at the Lint Center, are moved everyday by individuals who donate their time and resources to causes they believe in and it’s regenerative to see individuals and organizations being recognized for their desire to do great things.”

This year, four individuals and organizations were recognized as Tribute Awardees by Points of Light Foundation:

  • Retired professional basketball player Yao Ming was recognized for The Yao Ming Foundation that seeks to improve the lives of children in China and the U.S., with an emphasis on providing educational opportunities.
  • Hewett-Packard who in 2013 logged more than 1.6 million volunteer hours and gave more than $13.3 million to nonprofits and schools.
  • Environmentalist Charles Orgbon III who started a club at age 12 to keep his school clean, then turned it into Greening Forward, a nonprofit dedicated to creating a diverse global environmental movement powered by young people.
  • World Central Kitchen, a humanitarian organization founded by international chef José Andrés that feeds and empowers vulnerable people in humanitarian crises around the world.

Earlier this year, on the 13th anniversary of the September 11th tragedy, The Lint Center was recognized by Points of Light with a Daily Points of Light Award for its aid in the advancement of the educational pursuits of the next generation of national security workers through its mentorship and scholarship programs.

“We created the Lint Center to fill a niche void, one that teamed emerging and talented national security rookies with veterans in the national security community,” said Kay Lee Nicholas, Director and Scholarship Committee Member for the Lint Center. “ The old saying that ‘rookies make rookie mistakes’ is a truism, however, the number and severity does not have to be of that cardinal reality. Lint Center scholarships and our mentoring program strive to elucidate that end.”

To date the Lint Center has awarded 32 merit-based scholarships ranging from $500-$1500. With financial support from corporate sponsorships, The Lint Center awards scholarships twice a year in January and July.

Is Ebola a Matter of National Security?

hrs_20141025-A-SR101-3772The outbreak of Ebola in West Africa has caused tremendous fear across the globe. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) there have now been 10,141 confirmed cases that have resulted in 4,922 deaths worldwide as of October 24, 2014.

The majority of the cases are confined to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone but travel-associated cases have been transmitted to Mali, Senegal, Nigeria, Spain, and the United States. Although there has not been a large outbreak in the United States our federal government has approached the possibility with great stress that any potential transmission of the disease is a matter of national security.

The first case in the United States was diagnosed on September 30, 2014 in Dallas, Texas on a patient that had recently traveled to Liberia. Eric Duncan, now known as ‘index patient’, passed away on October 8, 2014 as the first patient to have contracted the disease overseas but to pass away in the United States. The head of the CDC, Thomas Friedan, has been urging hospitals nation wide to test for Ebola when patients come in displaying symptoms of the disease and a wary travel history (Gambino, 2014).

ebolamap03

The facts of the Ebola disease are critical to be mindful of due to the importance of raising awareness of risk factors in order to prevent transmission of infected persons to others. According to the World Health Organization, the EVD first appeared in Africa almost 40 years ago and maintains a fatality rate of around 50%. The high fatality rate is only one scary statistic for a disease that has the power to be easily transmitted. Symptoms of the Ebola virus consist of fever, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, and rashes among others. In order to be properly diagnosed there has to be confirmation via laboratory testing that can take up to 48 hours and is considered a very high biohazard risk for all those involved in the process.

White House Efforts

There has not been an overwhelmingly effort from countries worldwide to help aide countries that have been affected. The Red Cross has over 5,000 volunteers trained to combat the EVD but there has to be more involvement on the global level in order to help contain the most deadly outbreak of EVD in history.

President Obama commented to CNN reporter, Betsy Klein that, “If we don’t make the effort now, and this spreads not just through Africa but other parts of the world, there’s the prospect that the virus mutates. And then it could be a serious danger to the United States.”

President Obama has stated from the beginning of the outbreak that he considers this a top national security priority and that this is not a matter of charity but a humanitarian effort to protect the safety of the United States. Earlier this month, efforts to address the EVD outbreak were to use an all-hands-on-deck approach including efforts from public health, the White House, the Department of Defense, and America’s prestigious science teams in controlling the outbreak. Recently, states have been implementing their own 21-day quarantine efforts including Florida, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Texas, Virginia, and even Maryland to help monitor the state and federal health department efforts (the State of Maine having a recent and countervailing lower court ruling).

Military Efforts

The spread of a deadly disease is most certainly a concern for national security and a feasible option to combat EVD is to involve U.S. military resources. There is now a 30-person team who has been specifically trained as an Ebola response team to protect health care workers being quarantined. The Ebola response team can be ready for deployment in 72 hours’ notice and must be approved by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel before acting on any orders.

The team has been trained in infection control, protective equipment, and detection. The team has received training at the Education, Training and Simulation Department of the San Antonio Military Medical Center. Command surgeon Air Force Col. John J. DeGoes and Army Gen. Charles H. Jacoby Jr. have conducted the training and creation of this specialized team not only to fight Ebola but will also be used a precedent for future medical response teams on behalf of the DOD, Health and Human Services, Dept. of Homeland Security and other military branches. The military is currently deploying 4,000 personnel to West Africa to assist with the outbreak but the response team will only be used domestically if requested by the Centers for Disease Control but only with orders from the DoD.

Possibility of Bio-Terrorism

The level of potential terror risk posed by Ebola as a biological weapon has brought concern to the Department of Defense. The outbreak in West Africa has been occurring in a conflict driven zone occupied by terrorist organizations such as Boko Haram. The U.S. invested $140 million back in 2010 in a company called Tekmira to develop cures for the virus and continues to still get funding from the DoD to this day (Noack, 2014).

EVD is not believed at this time to be used as a bio-terror agent but possibilities are endless with today’s terrorist organizations. The U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases focuses on “protecting the Warfighter from emerging, genetically being altered, and unknown biological threats” as its mission in battling bio-terrorism. The DoD invests in research to protect against both intentional use and natural exposure of diseases that can impact not only Americans but also humans worldwide. There are to many intricate and scientific details that would be required to handle EVD in order to turn into a bio-terror weapon but the funding for research now may help eliminate the possibility in the future.

What’s in Store for the Future?

The Pentagon has also emphasized the relevance of EVD being a national security matter and being prepared domestically to control the disease is critical before being able to provide aide globally. President Obama has admitted that the United States must play a major role in combating Ebola in other infected countries but this is a global problem, which requires intervention from other national governments other than the United States. The high crisis magnitude of the outbreak needs U.S. intervention but the United Nations needs to require more involvement from others in the aide process. As the American public continues to remain in a state of palpable apprehension over the EVD there has to be consideration of the turmoil that is occurring in West Africa as well. President Obama’s emphasis on providing aide to regions that have massive EVD outbreak only helps to prevent future national security threats that could potentially occur in America if the disease is not contained overseas.


About the Author:

Untitled1Brittany Walter is a Marketing Coordinator at the Lint Center for National Security Studies. She is also currently a graduate student enrolled in the Global Affairs and Human Security Program at the University of Baltimore. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science at Washington College with a minor in Justice, Law, and Society. After graduating in the spring of 2015 she plans on enlisting in the United States Navy as a Cryptologic Technician Interpreter. She hopes to find a career in the intelligence and national security community in her future utilizing her education and time volunteering working for the Lint Center for National Security Studies.


REFERENCES:

  1. Cases of Ebola Diagnosed in the United States. (2014, October 25). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved October 25, 2014, from http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/2014-west-a…
  2. Fantz, A., & Ellis, R. (1970, January 1). Nurse ordered released in New Jersey; boy under Ebola evaluation in New York. CNN. Retrieved October 27, 2014, from http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/27/health/us-ebola/index.html?hpt=hp_t2
  3. Gambino, L. (2014, October 6). Dallas Ebola Patient. The Guardian. Retrieved October 25, 2014, from http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/06/nbc-photojournalist-diagnosed-ebola-nebraska
  4. Harper, D. (2014, October 6). Obama: Ebola ‘A Top National Security Priority’. The Weekly Standard. Retrieved October 28, 2014, from http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/obama-ebola-to…
  5. Klein, B., Castillo, M., & Botelho contributed to this report. (1970, January 1). Ebola is a ‘national security priority,’ Obama says. CNN. Retrieved October 27, 2014, from http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/07/politics/ebola-natio…
  6. Noack, R. (2014, August 5). Why Ebola worries the Defense Department. Washington Post. Retrieved October 27, 2014, from http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/08/05/why-ebola-worries-defense-department/
  7. West Africa: Ebola Outbreak. (n.d.). Ebola Outbreak. Retrieved October 27, 2014, from http://www.redcross.org/ebolaoutbreak

Photo Credit:

1) Courtesy of the US Department of Defense: Navy Cmdr. (Dr.) James Lawler, center, an infectious disease physician, talks to team members during a training event at the San Antonio Military Medical Center on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, Oct. 25, 2014. The group is part of a 30-member DoD team that could be called on to respond to new cases of Ebola in the United States. DoD photo by Army Sgt. 1st Class Tyrone C. Marshall Jr. Source: http://www.defense.gov/DODCMSShare/NewsStoryPhoto/2014-10/scr_20141025-A-SR101-3772.JPG

2) Courtesy of the US Department of Defense: USG Response to Ebola Outbreak, Source: http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2014/1014_ebola/

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this blog post are those of the individual author(s) and do not necessarily reflect official policy or the position of the Department of Defense or any other department or agency within the US Government. The opinions expressed by Lint Center Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone. The Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc. is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by Lint Center Bloggers. 

Daily Point of Light Award

Volunteer Team Recognized by Pres. Bush’s Foundation, Points of Light Award

We are extremely proud and humbled to announce that the Lint Center for National Security Studies has earned a Daily Points of Light Award on behalf of President George H. W. Bush’s the Points of Light Foundation. Receiving this award and recognition on such a momentous day in our nation’s history is a true honor.

To see the official Points of Light blog post, please go here:

9/11 Made Counterterrorism ‘a More Pressing Priority’ for the Nation and for These Volunteers

And our profile page here:

LINT CENTER FOR NATIONAL SECURITY STUDIES

Our first corporate sponsor, Stratfor, was proud to hear the news that the Lint Center earned the Points of Light Award on 9/11.

“Stratfor welcomes the opportunity to support aspiring national security and intelligence community workers,” said Fred Burton, Vice President of Intelligence at Stratfor.

“On this 13th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on our country, we are solemnly reminded of the serious challenges facing policy and decision makers as they strive to navigate the complexities of global geopolitical issues,” says Burton. “Stratfor proudly supports the Lint Center for National Security Studies in its ongoing quest to identify and mold the next generation of counterintelligence and national security leaders, and we congratulate the entire Lint Center team for this important and well-deserved honor from the Points of Light organization.”

Since 2007, the Lint Center has enabled students to further their studies in the intelligence and national security fields through its biannual scholarship program. Thanks to the tireless efforts of its volunteers and the generous support of its corporate sponsors and donors, including Stratfor, the Lint Center has awarded 32 scholarships ranging from $500 to $1,500 per student.

In addition to awarding merit-based scholarships, the Lint Center also facilitates a mentorship program connecting future leaders with current and former industry professionals.

“We created the Lint Center to fill a niche void, one that teamed emerging and talented national security rookies with veterans in the national security community,” says Kay Lee Nicholas, Director and Scholarship Committee Member.

“The old saying that ‘rookies make rookie mistakes’ is a truism, however, the number and severity does not have to be of that cardinal reality. Lint Center scholarships and our mentoring program strive to elucidate that end.”

As an all-volunteer organization with no paid employees, we depend on reliable individuals with a variety of skills to conduct both short and long-term projects.

“Our Volunteer Program allows individuals to work on projects from their current location, which provides us great flexibility,” says Bridget Struthers, Operations Coordinator.

“In turn, LC has developed a worldwide presence while offering volunteers the opportunity to develop skill sets, build resumes, and expand their network. We currently have open positions in volunteer coordination, marketing, public relations, web design, video production, blog writing, fundraising, and mentor care. We encourage volunteers to explore areas of interest, propose new ideas, and even create their own positions.”

Our web/graphic design team is currently working on a project to re-design and update the Lint Center’s website.We have several volunteers working on the project, led by K. McDonald.

“I volunteer because I am proud to support an organization that provides a needed service to the intelligence community. At Lint Center, I have a great deal of flexibility in what I do. My interest is technology, and I have been able to apply web and graphic design skills I learned in school to Lint Center projects. It’s rewarding to directly see my education making a difference in the world,” says McDonald.

Our marketing and public relations teams have made incredible progress over the past year, and we attribute much of our success, especially this award, to their hard work.

Elizabeth Molina, our Public Relations Coordinator says she volunteers because, “There is nothing more rewarding than being given the opportunity to give back and promote education in a niche field while further developing professionally. As a young professional, The Lint Center has allowed me to use the skills that I’ve learned through my experiences and background in communications to help someone else advance their career. It’s an incredible feeling to be a part of an organization that is comprised entirely of volunteers who donate their skills and time to aid in the pursuit of an education in a field that is rapidly changing.”

Our first scholarship winner and Member of the Board of Directors, Timothy W. Coleman, encourages volunteers to participate and take the initiative.

“As a certifying organization, we offer our outstanding volunteers the ability to work towards achieving a Presidential Volunteer Service Award issued by the Points of Light Institute and the Corporation for National and Community Service on behalf of the President of the United States,” says Coleman. “It’s a strong resume bullet and an impressive talking point, especially in a job interview. As such, we strongly encourage our team to participate.”

Many ask about the challenges associated with being a web-based organization and what brings LC volunteers together. “With many industry professionals nearing retirement, we recognize the need to develop scholars and leaders who have the ability to think outside the box, exercise sound judgment, and steer our nation in the right direction,” says Struthers. “We have organized an extraordinary team of individuals who share a passion for national security and a desire to protect our nation. At the Lint Center, we know that every volunteer is critical to our success. Our people are our greatest asset.”

Jim Lint, Chairman and CEO of the Lint Center, would like to thank the volunteers who work behind the scenes each day and set the example of service before self.As our leadership reminds us, “We win as a team and we earn this as a team.”

Thank you LC Volunteer Team!

To join our team, please visit the Lint Center website and apply today.

About Stratfor:

Stratfor is the world’s leading private intelligence company providing individuals and corporations with breaking intelligence, in-depth analysis, assessments and forecasts on global political, economic, security, and public policy issues. Through its unrivalled blend of strategic and tactical expertise, Stratfor helps clients protect their assets, diminish risk and increase opportunities to compete in the global market. Stratfor’s services include free intelligence reports, subscription-based access and confidential consulting. For more information, please visit www.stratfor.com.

About the Lint Center:

The Lint Center for National Security Studies, Inc., founded in 2007, is a non-profit IRS 501 (c) (3) organization created to award merit-based scholarships biannually for Counterintelligence and National Security Workers, their children and scholars, and to advance the study of National Security, cross-cultural studies, and global understanding. The Center, an IRS approved charity, is veteran and minority operated and managed. For more information, please visit www.LintCenter.org.

I Fled Communist North Korea as a Teenager

From the Peninsula to the Washington Post, Dr. Jhong Sam Lee came a long way from his humble beginnings on a rice farm near Kiljoo, Korea, which became a part of North Korea when Korea divided. This otherwise unknown city was to garner worldwide prominence when the late North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-il, reportedly held an underground nuclear test there in 2006 and again in 2009.

In a harrowing story, a 15-year-old Lee shunned enlistment into his homeland’s communist army and left home for fear of bringing retribution to his family. A series of watershed life events caused Lee to head south to join the Republic of Korea’s army to fight during the Korean War. Later captured by the North Koreans, he escaped and was eventually rescued by a group of US soldiers from the Oklahoma National Guard.

In a short respite from the military and a security-related path, Lee was accepted into high school for excellent math scores and later accepted into the leading university in South Korea, Seoul National University, to study mathematics as well. However, his passions belied his official chosen course of study. Lee soon realized his love of physics and engineering, and in an epiphany, decided to pursue his dream in the United States, not coincidentally, at the University of Oklahoma. In 1955, he arrived at the port of San Francisco with no more than $80 dollars in his pocket and the euphoria of his dreams tucked inside of his cargo ship pass.

Lee graduated from the University of Oklahoma and later received his master’s degree and doctorate in electrical engineering from George Washington University. The impetus to a life in defense and communications technologies begins shortly thereafter. The now Dr. Lee consulted for the Naval Research Laboratory and Radiation Systems Inc. of Mclean and worked as an advisory engineer for military satellites at IBM. Later becoming the Associate Director of the advanced system analysis office at Magnavox, Lee set the groundwork for founding his own military and satellite R+D firms.

In his exploits, Dr. Lee developed technology for use in Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA)-based cellphones. In a personal commentary on his life, Dr. Lee was known to have taken delight in one of his headlining publications, the “CDMA Systems Engineering Handbook”(1998), dropping from $800 to $113.32 dollars for a used copy on Amazon.com because the price-drop gave more people access to his book.

Further, Dr. Lee was named a life fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, the world’s largest professional association for the advancement of technology, having quipped that, “this was a big deal to a farm boy from North Korea!”

The farm boy from North Korea, who said that one of his most critical decisions was “to come to the United States of America where [he] was afforded the opportunities to pursue education, business, and every liberty as a naturalized American citizen,” epitomizes the importance of cultural awareness, not only for the growth of the United States but for the safety of all those who engender the values we hold dear.

In commemoration of Dr. Lee’s service to the United States, the Lint Center has added Dr. Lee and his story to the “Lee and Byun International Relations and Cultural Awareness Scholarship” to illustrate the value and potential in cultural awareness and language acquisition.

References:

Are You Trainable?

MatthewBRidgwayTo quote the Greek philosopher Aristotle, “Excellence is an art won by training and habituation […] Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” This important observation is especially relevant because it demonstrates that securing knowledge isn’t an end unto itself, but rather the basis for a behavioral augmentation and an ingrained approach to pursuing excellence in whatever we chose to achieve.

As such, it is important to view yourself as a perpetual trainee so as to never allow yourself to become complacent and sedentary. If not for self-betterment purposes alone, because (especially within the intelligence and security community) we know full well that our adversaries aren’t sitting idly by and twiddling their thumbs as new ways for improvement become available.

How trainable are you? 

From an employer’s perspective, training is vital for a multitude of reasons. The first and foremost advantage is that it ensures an employee constantly grows their skillset and is challenged to learn more applicable skills of use. This knowledge can be developed into a sustainable skillset and adds value not only to the individual, but also to the entire enterprise.

Training serves to improve an employee’s overall job performance as it builds confidence and allows the individual to assess where and how job functions can be improved. Additionally, providing an individual with real world, practitioner oriented training enables the employee to better appreciate and comprehend the governing policies and regulations that comprise job responsibilities. This helps the employee grow and increases their successful consistency in terms of achievements.

Let’s take a step back and place you in the position of hiring manager for an important government department or agency. You receive a candidate’s resume and it’s from a recent graduate of a prestigious school. You like what you see, but what does the degree mean and what is the value of that education to your organization?

Clearly, it demonstrates the candidate is learned and most likely capable. Even so, you are hiring for a position in the intelligence and security field. No student will walk in on day one of the job and be fully capable of carrying out their duties without any training. Indeed, what you most likely want to see and need to know is that the candidate is smart, capable, dependable and trainable. As a hiring manager, you need to know that whoever you hire will be able to learn and implement their job duties successfully.

In turn, next time you are looking at your resume with a critical eye, ask yourself – what about my resume drives home the training and being trainable narrative? If you can’t find it, you should do something about it. Having something on your resume that highlights your ability and proclivity for learning and implementing evolving job tasks is what will place you among the best applicants – not to mention, training is a tremendous help for those applicants that are filling out those much dreaded KSAs (Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities) for a USAJobs application.

Embedded Benefits of Training

The embedded benefits of training are overwhelming clear. A well-trained employee has a higher level of productivity, provides an increased quality in service and in products delivered, and requires less supervision from superiors, which allows them more time to focus on other priorities.

To that end, we would like to highlight another free training and course completion certification resource available that will help build your KSAs, bolster your resume, and perhaps even instill Aristotle’s habituation of excellence.

FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) offers a wide-ranging series of training course completion certifications through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute (EMI), as the Website notes, “serves as the national focal point for the development and delivery of emergency management training. This training enhances the capabilities of the Federal, state, and local government, volunteer organizations, and the private sector to minimize the impact of disasters on the American public.”

With over 2 million students receiving training annually, EMI provides more than 185 training courses that span the breadth and scope of FEMA’s core mission areas such as Incident Management, Continuity Programs, Operational Planning, Public Disaster Communications, Disaster Logistics, Integrated Preparedness, Emergency Communications, Hazard Mitigation, and more.

In fact, the course offerings for Independent Study Program cover a lot of ground, with training courses that include: Surveillance Awareness, Continuity of Operations Planning for Pandemic Influenzas, and Radiological Emergency Response – just to name a few.

Additionally, EMI offers more focused and tailored training programs that hone in on specific functional job areas. Specifically, there are courses that explicate core elements of what is expected of a Geospatial Information System Specialist and another for Public Information Officers.

From a user’s perspective, it is incredibly easy to sign up and start taking training courses. The materials are online and all you have to do is pass a final multiple-choice exam by correctly answering 75 percent of the questions. If you don’t get it on the first try there is no penalty for taking it again. More conveniently, EMI is accessible to mobile users and students can take the multiple-choice exam on a mobile phone during a coffee break or while waiting for a class to begin.

Perhaps most importantly, EMI Independent Study Program training and course completion certifications are free of charge. For course offerings and to register, check out:http://training.fema.gov/IS/.

The Department of Homeland Security offers a variety of additional training opportunities for DHS personnel, partners and citizens, including home and business owners.

DHS offers training that includes:

  • Boating and Marine Safety
  • Chemical Sector Training and Resources
  • Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Training
  • Cybersecurity Training & Exercises
  • Electronic Crime Training and Resources

And DHS offers more focused training on Emergency Management and Preparedness Training:

  • Business Preparedness Training
  • Emergency Management Training
  • Emergency Preparedness Training
  • Law Enforcement Training
  • National Infrastructure Protection Plan
  • School Safety Planning and Training

To learn more about such DHS training opportunities, please check out:http://www.dhs.gov/how-do-i/find-training-opportunities.

There are also training programs available through DHS for Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICE-CERT) that require physical attendance and some of them include:

  • Web-Based Training
 OPSEC for Control Systems
  • Introductory Level
Introduction to Control Systems Cybersecurity (101)
  • Intermediate Level
Intermediate Cybersecurity for Industrial Control Systems
  • Intermediate Level
Intermediate Cybersecurity for Industrial Control Systems (202)
  • Technical Level
 ICS Cybersecurity (301)

For more info, visit: http://ics-cert.us-cert.gov/Training-Available-Thr…

The Discipline of Training

With the current budget uncertainty and recent training cuts, it is imperative that prospective intelligence and security professionals take the initiative to find and complete free training. It shows your “trainability” and is a crucial indicator of your drive to excel.

Training helps prepare you to work in important public and private sector roles. Training also helps ensure that you don’t repeat past mistakes in the industry. Ultimately, the objective remains to learn from the last generation and to move forward, armed with the best and most relevant practices of today.

In the end, training is a gift and a means to stay ahead of bad actors. And like all gifts, if you fail to use it, it is your fault but becomes America’s problem.

(Photo Credit: Wikipedia)

– See more at: http://www.lintcenter.info/blog/entry/3734799/are-you-trainable#sthash.GKiIvCBE.dpuf

 

Lint Center Launches New Awareness Web-Video

We are pleased to unveil a new Web-based video aimed at increasing the awareness of our semi-annual merit-based scholarship programs.

As an all-volunteer force (no-paid staff), the Lint Center is pleased to release the following video in effort to promote awareness and interest in the Center’s scholarship opportunities.

This video was created by one of the Center’s volunteers, Mr. Nathan Rhodes and a proper thank you is certainly in due order.

Please be sure to check out the video and let us know your thoughts.To learn more about the Lint Center for National Security studies and the great work it does, please visit: https://www.lintcenter.org/

Like the Center on Facebook, follow the @LintCenter on Twitter, and join the LinkedIn Group to get involved! Help us spread the word!